Google’s surprise Android 13 Dev Preview launch gave us a ton of preliminary information about the operating system, including some of its crazy new features. But there’s one Android 13 feature that Google hasn’t spent much time talking about: a new standardized virtualization system that lets you run Windows 11 on a phone or tablet.
Virtualization is a complicated and esoteric subject. But here’s the gist; with virtualization, you can run one operating system inside another operating system. Mac users with a virtual machine, such as Parallels, can run Windows on their desktop as if it were a standard old application. And thanks to Google’s new virtualization standards, Android 13 users do the same on their phone or tablet. (You can read a more detailed explanation at Practical Geek.)
As documented by Android Developer kdrag0n, Google’s new virtualization system already works pretty well in Android 13 Dev Preview. It doesn’t support hardware acceleration, so it’s not perfect, but it lets you use Windows 11 on a mobile device without too much trouble.
And here is Windows 11 as a VM on Pixel 6 https://t.co/0557SfeJtN pic.twitter.com/v7OIcWC3Ab
— kdrag0n (@kdrag0n) February 13, 2022
It’s quite a feat from Google. Since its inception, Android users have criticized the operating system for its fragmentation, and Android virtual machines have been extremely fragmented. With Android 13, Google uses pKVM (protected kernel virtualization mechanism) and the crosvm Chromebook manager to standardize virtualization on Android.
Additionally, this standardized system will allow Android to virtualize instances of… well, Android. Esper’s Mishaal Rahman documented this idea in an in-depth blog post late last year. While Google’s motivation for virtualizing Android instances in Android is still unclear, Rahman speculates that it could increase device security when compiling data.
The idea of running Windows 11 and other operating systems in Android 13 is fun, but the benefits are still unclear. At the very least, Google could find a way to run Linux apps on Android or, as Mishaal Rahman notes, virtualization could automatically isolate sensitive tasks and increase user security.
And yes, Windows 11 runs on Android 13 Loss.
Source: @kdrag0n via Android Police